“Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O Lord, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants. As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (Psalms 17:13-15, ESV).
There’s a very important theological distinction in these two Psalms that can be used as the measure for the lives of human beings on this earth. The Psalmist distinguishes a life in which “the Lord is my chosen portion” and has a heavenly inheritance from the lives of “men of the world whose portion is in this life” and have no lasting inheritance.
For the men of the world their only reward is in this life (their wealth and their children of their lack thereof). Because, they leave all their wealth and their children behind when they die. But, the Psalmist confidently expresses in vs. 17:15 anticipation of eternal fellowship in God’s presence (when I awake is generally taken as implying from the sleep of death).
What’s implied theologically from these contrasting inheritances is that our life in this world is preparation for our life to come in God’s eternal kingdom.
God created us as creatures of eternity—eternal in union with Him or eternal in separation from Him. The inevitability that all human beings will enter eternity bound for life or condemnation should be factored into every person’s life.
Even the Old Testament writer’s understood this eternity factor.
Unfortunately, this eternity factor is often missing from many people’s outlook and world view. One reason for this omission or oversight may be that people do not like to think or talk about death even though most people believe in an” afterlife” and believe that their final destination in the afterlife is heaven.
But, the fact remains that heaven is not the default eternal destination. Heaven is not automatic without a personal resolution to the problem of human sin and rebellion, which causes our present (and eternal) separation from God.
The distinction the Psalmist makes between those trusting in God and those trusting in the world indicates that God is not only concerned about our personal relationship with Him, but also about the expression of this relationship in action and behavior that will ultimately manifest itself in eternal life.
God wants to prepare you for eternal life and He wants you to begin to act and behave now according to the way that you will live in His Kingdom eternally. Because, what you are becoming in this present life is what you will surely be in eternity!
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20-21, ESV)